It’s probably too long of a wait between the singles pro and other pro events, but the split age events have still been fun. From what we saw yesterday, it seems to be clear that at the highest level you want to have a female pro with a male senior pro as we posited. Now, some of the best pros aren’t playing so if you have Ben Johns or Anna Leigh Waters out there, it could change some things. Sperling/Jansen took gold while Jorja Johnson/Morariu were able to find a silver, which is not where we expected them to be going into the day. We probably need to stop underestimating Jorja Johnson who simply was outstanding in their match against Callie Smith and Dayne Gingrich, the bronze medal team.
The men’s and women’s senior pro days are split up between Wednesday and Thursday. Then we have men’s and doubles pro on Friday with the final being played Saturday, and the mixed pro events on Saturday. The scheduling is wonky from our view but, hey, a lot of decisions are pretty wonky with the US Open. To be determined what their “standards” are.
We’ll break-up our men’s and women’s pro previews as this also allows us to give some thoughts on the events from the day before as we have with the split age ones.
1. Dave Weinbach/ Dayne Gingrich – We haven’t seen a lot of Dayne and Dave together this year, but they have yet to lose when they play together and have to be big favorites in this field. Dave and Dayne’s combined hands just seem to make them just too tough for the other senior men’s teams. One thing to watch for is if the slower Franklin ball allows some other teams to hang with them.
2. John Sperling / Mircea Morariu – John Sperling is one of the most consistent men in senior pro and he usually finds his way onto the podium more often than not. Mircea Morariu is another guy who is no stranger to the podium and he and Sperling have been playing together a fair amount, this year and been getting solid results this year, with a few golds.
3. Rick Witsken/ Scott Moore – Rick Witsken has been a force on the senior pro scene this year, especially in men’s doubles. Scott Moore continues to get results, despite being in his turning 60 year, which may be one of the more underrated impressive things in pickleball.
Podium Chasers: Scott Crandall/Jose Derisi are another couple of guys who are pretty consistent podium presences on the senior tour, particularly in men’s doubles, so it would not be surprising to see them on the podium. Jaime Oncins/Steve Kennedy may have the highest ceiling of the teams we left off of the podium picks. They have won some large tournaments, but their results have been a little sporadic of late. Oncins is probably the most talented senior player we don’t see regularly, as he only seems to play Florida tournaments. Dan Granot/Paul Olin are another pair of regular podium finishers, who we expect to be in the mix.
Wildcards: Mills Miller/Billy Jacobsen are two of the pickleball OG’s. Obviously Mills is a regular stalwart on the tour, but we seldom see Billy, once arguably the best player in the game, so it will be interesting to see how they do. Another team to keep your eye on is Steve Dawson/Dave Fleming, but Dawson’s results have been trending down as he gets older. Another old school guy Washington guy, Enrique Ruiz is paired up with Barry Waddell – two guys with weird games.
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